Thursday, September 18, 2014

Argentina: Gunpoint robbery caught on Tape

Hey Fer Fal, I wanted to send you this link which shows a robbery attempt captured on a go-pro.  What are your thoughts on how this went down?  Seemed like the robber used a motorbike, just like you warned about. 
One thing that is particularly interesting is that it's in broad daylight and with lots of other people around.  Also the robbers persistence is notable as well.  Does this robber fit the "look" of the typical thief?  Do you think he's killed people before?
- Scott

Hello Scott,
Yes, I’ve seen the video. This happens every day in every city of Argentina, pretty much all day long. Impossible to say if he’s killed before, maybe he did, although in general once they start killing they become like animals and can’t seem to stop themselves from shooting next time they encounter resistance.
As you see it happens on broad daylight, even when surrounded by people. I’ve literally lost count of how many of these similar incidents I’ve seen first-hand, which now that I write it down, sounds pretty depressing. But you would be in a train station, just walking or waiting for a bus and someone pulls a gun out and robs someone or snatches a bag and jumps on a motorcycle and takes off.  One that I remember well took place is a train station, at rush hour, packed with people. The guy just pulled a pistol (I think it was a Hi-Power 9mm) and robbed the guy he as pressing against. The criminal took forever to push his way out of the station, with everyone packed like sardines.

Some interesting things to note:

            1)The victim has NO idea how lucky he is to be alive. These days, you’re very likely to get mugged and shot even when you give them everything. Resisting, like this guy did (seems without knowing) is just begging to get shot.

            2)Nothing is worth getting shot over. At that point, give up the bike and bag. Again, no idea how lucky he is to be alive. I know several people that got shot for a LOT less than that, even after giving up everything.

       3)The robber was asking for his backpack (la mochila! Sacate la mochila!) while the guy kept repeating “amigo! Amigo!. Not knowing the local language can get you killed. Not a good idea to go to dangerous places in general. At one point the criminal asks surprised “ Do you want to get shot?”

       4)Motorcycles. At one time it was estimated that half the bikes driving around with two males on them in down town Buenos Aires were criminals. It came close to get banned by law to have two men drive in one bike in the capital district. It is by far the most common transportation for criminals. Its fast, easy to go on the sidewalk with, easy to escape from police and you naturally wear a helmet that covers your face making you harder to ID.

           5)The criminal didn’t care about people but he didn’t want to have too much attention either, and he wanted to get it over with fast. Daytime doesn’t bother them, nor do nearby witnesses, but time does. It has to be fast. Also, notice how he keeps the gun visible but down and to his side, so as to make it less visible from a distance. You see this done pretty often.

At the end of the day, its good not to be exposed to that on daily basis any more. When crime gets that bad, you have to consider relocating somewhere safer.


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